This past Saturday, I found myself in Brookfield, CT. A local sale on goalie skates brought me into town with the SO, and while he has his hockey passions–I have mine: wine.
As a New Englander with a bit of the travel bug, I have had an opportunity to visit many a local winery. But each time, I discover something new. DiGrazia Vineyards (www.digraziavineyards.com) is part of the Connecticut wine trail and is located in northern Fairfield County in the southern foothills of the Berkshire mountains.
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On the outside, DiGrazia vineyards was nothing special…a small wine shop next to a house with a small yard. But sometimes, nothing special can make for one enjoyable and special afternoon. I’ve been to the sprawling farms of New Hampshire and Rhode Island, the sweet vineyards of North Carolina, and the ever-stretching vineyards of Temecula County, CA. In all my travels, however, I have yet to see a place as relaxed and full of contented guests as this one.
“In all my travels, I have yet to see a place as relaxed and full of contented guests as this one.”
Although the lawn was small, the tables were plenty. And everywhere you looked, there were couples and groups relaxing and enjoying a bottle or two of the wine of their choice. I spent a few hours there myself, imbibing on the light delights of the Wild Blue Too ( a Connecticut grown apple wine with blueberries), and the Honey Blush (a sweet floral bouquet without the sulfites that other wines can bring), and enjoying a picnic lunch.
The tasting room was crowded, but the staff was friendly, and some patience until a spot at the counter opens up will get you a tasting of 6 of the wines on the menu for $8. In my opinion, if you plan it correctly with the person you are with, between the two of you, you could potentially taste 12 of the different wines. All in all, I tasted about 10 of the wines on the menu.
If you enjoy sweet, light wines or wines imbibed with some core warming brandy, then this is a place for you to visit.
Here’s the sampling I tried:
Honey Blush: A lighter white wine, preserved with honey. The wine contains no sulfites as the honey itself works as a preservative. The wine is sweet and heady with floral notes.
Anastasia’s Blush: This wine was also light and sweet, made with native New England grapes. It didn’t have quite the same smooth finish as the Honey blush, but still enjoyable.
Fieldstone Reserve: this was the only pure red on the menu, referred to as a St. Croix varietal. I am a lover of red wine, and I am sure this one will be perfect for someone looking for a fresh, pure red palate. As for me, I like my reds smooth and full of color, so it wasn’t my favorite.
Wild Blue: Two words for this wine: delicious & potent. A blueberry wine with added brandy. I think it’d be perfect in the winter.
Wild Blue Too: This was a light blueberry wine with local apples. It is a wine that the owner’s said they are only making for a limited time to take to the CT Wine Festival in a few weeks. All wines at the festival need to be less than 13% alcohol so the regular Wild Blue wasn’t going to be able to come.
White Magnolia: This is a white port. I heard one of the staff say that this wine would not appeal to everyone, but that the foodies would like it. Check and check. This foodie thought that the lightness of the white port was different, although it still held that warming quality that other ports have. There was a bit of initial bitterness that smoothed as it went down.
Blacksmith Port: A blend of St. Croix and Frontenac, with added brandy, this port held the beautiful color of roast beets and went smoothly down. I think this one would be perfect for a cold winter evening by the fire.
Autumn Spice: The nose on this wine is amazing! It smells like fresh pumpkin pie; made from sugar pumpkin, honey, and spices. At first sip, it is less sweet than you’d imagine it to be. With further sips, it gets better and better.
If you find yourself wanting to check out the Connecticut Wine Trails, be sure to stop in at DiGrazia Vineyards.